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Social Welfare

'If there were no carers, the cost to the government would bring the system down'

Carers are calling for the respite care grant to be reinstated in 2015.

MicealONuallain / YouTube

AN ONLINE PETITION calling for the respite care grant to be restored has received almost 4,000 signatures to date.

The €325 annual allowance was cut in Budget 2013. It was paid to more than 77,000 families, 20,000 of whom received no other support from the State for providing full-time care for a family member.

Carers are hoping that the grant may be re-introduced as part of the Social Welfare Bill, which will be debated by the Oireachtas Social Protection Committee today.

Tánaiste Joan Burton is expected to attend the meeting, which will take place at 1pm.

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh previously made Burton aware of the petition in the Dáil, urging her to read the comments accompanying it.

Many of those who have signed the petition are carers, some of whom have spoken out about how the abolition of the grant has affected them:

respite grant quote 1

I am a single mum on carers and I am finding it difficult to get by on what the Government is giving me to live on. Think how much you are saving by the family caring for the disabled. It’s time you realised that people can’t live on what you give them.

repsite care quote 2

Like most cuts to the most vulnerable in our society, this shouldn’t have been cut and it most certainly shouldn’t have been ignored around the Budget. The State constantly takes from the most vulnerable in society and people let it happen because it doesn’t effect them, but it could one day.

respite grant quote 3

Respite care grant cut by over €300 in budget

The number of people receiving a carer’s allowance has increased by 40%

‘Budget 2015 needs to give struggling families the peace and security they’re entitled to’

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